Rating: 4 out of 5.

Kleo from ‘Kleo’ is akin to the hero from ‘Mission Impossible’ – a secret agent who changes hairstyles instead of faces and is obviously almost invincible. Created by Hanno Hackfort, Bob Konrad and Richard Kropf, the 2022 Netflix series is set in the 1980s. Jella Hasse plays the titular lead, a former spy who goes on a killing spree after she is released from prison as amnesty due to the fall of the Berlin wall.

But ‘Kleo’ isn’t just a violent action revenge drama, it’s also a quirky thriller about Kleo trying to piece together why she was betrayed by her closes confidantes and solve the mystery surrounding a red suitcase which belonged to the man she was ordered to eliminate. Jella Hasse won me over as the cold-blooded assassin who can make grown men wet their pants, at the same time she brings to the character a certain subtle vulnerability that makes her extremely likable. The other stand-out performance in this series was by Dimitrij Shaad, who plays Sven Petzold, an enthusiastic officer who carries out his own private investigation against Kleo in the hopes of a promotion. Julius Feldmeier had the most random but hilarious role as stoner/hippie Thilo who claims he is from another planet and somehow becomes Kleo’s only friend.

Those who’ve lived in Germany when the Berlin wall was still standing would know how historically accurate the settings and political scenarios are; however as a foreign viewer I was delighted with the retro styles and costumes of a bygone era. The show also has a great background score which makes things and situation appear grander than they are. The music by Johnny Klimek is an interesting blend of modern tunes with classical flourishes. A track called ‘Wen Der Wind Von Osten Whet’ (translation – when the wind blows from the west) is sprinkled through the series and is beautifully nostalgic.

Since ‘Kleo’ an action-thriller in essence, there’s plenty of fighting, shooting, poisoning, killing, burning and some burying. Kleo gets clean opportunities to get rid of her enemies, some are far too exaggerated but entertaining nonetheless. The climax was bittersweet, akin to a tragicomedy, where the protagonist doesn’t necessarily get the end most viewers would expect. All eight episodes keep a firm grip on the plot, typically series like these tend to end in disappointing cliches, but Hanno Hackfort and team deliver a pretty killer curtain call.

It’s a 8/10 from me.

Subscribe to our Podcast show by the same name on YouTube

Listen to – 10 Graphic Novel recommendations under 10 Minutes